Motherhood . Life . Style

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Quality Time Before Starting School

Our No TV Mondays..

If you watch my weekly vlogs then you will know on Mondays Freddie was home with me. He attended Nursery on Tuesday and Thursday and his school nursery on Wednesday and Friday. Freddie will be starting school in September and I wanted to make the most of the few months of 1 to 1 time we had remaining.

Over the past 6 months I started a new routine with Freddie... and I call it NO TV MONDAY. As soon as we got home from dropping Taylor off at school, Freddie would be asking for Blaze, Paw patrol or Thomas to be put on. This is a routine I wanted to get him out of.. and quickly. I find once the TV's on, Its hard to turn it off again without him have a paddy.

The first few weeks we had a few problems but nothing compared to how I thought it would be. I found it easy to distract him and before I knew Mondays became a TV free day. We then spent our Mondays doing lots of fun but also educational activities together. Lunch times I make fun by having Teddy bear picnics and if the weather wasn't great we would have it in the living room.

Here are a few activities that we got up to instead of watching Tv..

On A Wet Weather day
Painting
Sticking
Colouring and Drawing 
Puzzles 
Board Games 
Hide & Seek
Read books 

On A Nice day
Bike/ Scooter ride 
Near by Park/ Country Park - Take a picnic 
Games In the garden - Hide & Seek, Looking for bugs, Whats the time Mr Woof, Finding pictures in the sky (clouds) 
Chalking 
Watering the plants


Im glad I decided to do the No Tv Mondays, I feel we got them last few months quality time together.  I can't believe my baby is off to school in September, How time flys..

Do you have a little one starting school next September? Would a TV free day be something you would think about doing? Do you already do something similar to this? 

Thanks For Reading 
XxX
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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Cruising As A Family

We Will Defiantly Be Doing It Again

When we told our family and friends that we were going on a Cruise for our summer holiday this year, they thought we were crazy.

"Two weeks on a ship, Wont the boys get bored" 


Back in 2011, Mr B and I went on our first cruise for our honeymoon and loved it. We always knew we wanted to do another one but we never thought we would, especially with the boys.

Most of our family holidays probably a lot like many families, were in an all inclusive resort somewhere in Europe. Its easy, you know what your getting but we were honestly getting feed up with just making doing for the price we were paying.

Originally a cruise wasn't even on our thoughts, until I was searching on the Thomson website and came across their ships. We sat and looked though all six ships (now seven, Tui Explorer is joining their fleet in summer 2018.) We were surprised to find all the things that they had on board for children to do. For our first cruise we traveled with Celebrity Cruises on the Equinox. A stunning ship, amazing room and food, Perfect for adults but wasn't well equipped for children.

Price wise believe it or not the cruise came out cheaper then two weeks in a resort. We looked at each other and couldn't believe it. We were able to upgrade our room from an inside state room to have a junior suite with a balcony for the same money. We talked though the pros and cons of the cruise and apart from being worried if the boys would suffer with sea sickness, we knew it was the right decision for us.

We are quite the explorers on holiday, we love to walk around and see what we can find and get a real feel for the country instead of sitting in a resort every day for two weeks. With a cruise we were able to do this and the plus side was everyday we would wake up and be somewhere new.






We chose to go on the Tui Discovery 2 for a few reasons. It was the newest ship in the fleet. It had spent a few month in Malaga Port being refurbished from Royal Caribbean, The Legend Of The Sea to Thomson, Tui Discovery 2. The itinerary was the best for us, there were places we wanted to visit and hadn't visit before. It had a few added extras that I thought we would enjoy as a family and keep the boys entertained the two days we were at sea.

Room


As I have already mentioned we upgraded our room for the same price we would have spent on an all inclusive resort holiday. A lot like all cruise ships and resorts there are many different rooms to choose from. 

Inside State Room - This is a room in the middle of the ship meaning there is no window in your room.

Outside State Room - These rooms are on the outside of the ship and have one window.


Deluxe Double - The room below ours, Same layout and also has a balcony. It is just lower down the ship on Decks 6 and 7. (The higher up the ship the less you will feel the movement.)


Junior Suite - Our Room,  Deck 8.


Suites - These are the biggest and grandest rooms on the ship, most have more then one room.


We loved our room, it was spacious enough for four of us. Great fixtures and fittings and had extras like a kettle, coffee machine and hairdryer. 

If you would like to see a room tour, here is the vlog that its included in.

Food & Drink





Something I have been asked a few times is how much is food and drink on board. The answer has always been nothing, its included. Not every cruise ship works like this. The Thomson ships are the same as going to all inclusive resorts. 

We had Eight different places to choose from to eat on board. However only five were included in the  all inclusive. 

Island - Deck 10 - This is your self serve restaurant. You are able to have breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Dinner here.

47 - Deck 4 - Waiter service restaurant, Menu changes every night for dinner. Breakfast and Dinner are only served here.

Gallery 47 - Deck 5 - Waiter service Italian restaurant, Two menus only that ornate. Dinner Only.

The Glasshouse - Deck 9 - We didn't eat here, But i know it served for Lunch and dinner.

Snack shack - Deck 9 - This is your easy fast food pool side food bar. Served between 11 - 5

The others were Surf and Turf Steakhouse, Sushi and Kora La.

Drinks.. There was so much choice. Juices, Mocktails, Cocktails, Wine, Beers & Spirits. There were a few alcohol drinks that wasn't included in the all inclusive, However that was mostly whisky, expensive wine and champagne.

During then whole two weeks we didn't pay anything towards food and drink.

Activities



Its amazing some of the thing you see on a cruise ship and we were lucky enough to have a few on the Tui Discovery 2

The wall - A rock climbing wall open every day in the afternoon, Deck 10. Children from the age of 5 can have as many goes as they like, No need to book just turn up. Parents need to sign a permission slip. Its also FREE

MiniGolf - Nine hole family fun golf. Deck 10. Again no booking needed, Golf clubs, balls, score sheets and pencils are in a box next to the course. Again its FREE. 

Pools - One indoor One outdoors, both have Jacuzzis.

Kids Clubs -  For ages 3 - 11. Three sessions a day (Morning, Afternoon, evening) Each lasting for an hour and a half - two hours. 

For Younger children there is the Baby centre which has soft play and toys.  

For older children there is the Hideout and Game Zone which has Table football and consoles (playstation, Xbox)

Movies By Moonlight - Every night around 8pm a movie would play on deck 10 on the big screen. You were given a blanket, hot chocolate and popcorn to enjoy and keep you warm.


If you or your partner like to excise and keep fit, There is a gym on board along with a jogging track around deck 10 to work off all the food you will indulge in. If you prefer to relax.. don't panic there is also a spa. For the shoppers like myself, you have the forum.. from perfume, watches to designer bags. If your feeling lucky you can get some chips and head to the casino... 

What Have We Learnt From This Holiday & Will We Do Another Cruise As A Family?

100% Yes! We all loved it. There was something for everyone. Thomson was a great introduction to cruising for the boys.. I think we will have a mission on our hand for next year.
What have I learnt? Do more research.. Look up what there is to do in each country we will be stopping at. Have a plan, Write places down we would like to visit maybe even book a few excursions.  


Sorry this blog post is so long but I hope I have answered all your questions. If not please leave me a comment. 

Thanks For Reading
XxX 
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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

I Ran 5K For Cancer Research!

It was unbelievable how many people were there taking part...


I Did it...I ran 5k to raise money for Cancer Research. Ive spoken quite opening before about losing a friend to Cancer and what the charity means to me. 

This was the first year I got around to doing Race For Life so I didn't really know what to expect. Driving though Moat Park, Maidstone. To the field that was allocated for parking I couldn't believe my eyes... It was unbelievable how many people were there taking part. 


It was emotional to read everyones back plaques with who they were racing for. We saw a teenage girl running for her mum, A mother and daughter team like ourself running for their husband/dad. Some had pictures of their loved ones pinned to them and one family in particular that we saw, were running for a girl no older then 8. It was heart braking. 

I herd the Heart Dj mention that everyone that was there had raised over £30.000..... Amazing! I felt so good to be apart of that and give a little back to such amazing charity and cause. 


Its a shame that Cancer is still affect people however with the money raised.. I hope the success rates keep raising. I can't wait to take part and do it all over again next year!

I want to also just take this time to thank everyone that sponsored me, who wished me luck and for you kind words and messages. It meant so much to have you all backing me. 


Thanks For Reading
With Love
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